ALEC, the secretive organization marrying corporations and legislators to create pro-corporate bills, named it’s New Mexico state chairperson their “Chair of the Year” in 2015 for her work pushing corporate agendas through the State Legislature. Now its 2017 and she plans to use all that state legislative experience as a platform to run for Congress in the open Congressional seat vacated by Steve Pearce who just announced he is running for governor in 2018.
Who is Yvette Herrell? Most New Mexicans outside of the legislature have never heard of Herrell, but conservative special interests and corporate lobbyists have her on speed dial. The Alamogordo-area Republican was first elected to the State Legislature in 2010 after winning the primary and facing no Democratic opponent.
This Wednesday the Senate Education Committee will hear testimony about selling off state trust lands to fund early childhood education. SB 182 would see public lands in the state sold to Big Oil and Gas and close access for millions of land users. You can help stop that from happening.
Nora Espinoza (R-Roswell) is running for Secretary of State. You read that right. The same woman who wants to legalize discrimination, ban Mexican-American history books in public schools, and let ALEC write New Mexico’s laws now wants to occupy one of the most important public offices in New Mexico. (She’s also the chair of the House Education Committee where she has a history of silencing dissent or discussion of opposing views in her committee.)
It’s impossible to think that someone who’s expressed so much close-minded extremism over the years could possibly represent the office well and execute it with the fairness and equality the office demands. And Espinoza’s campaign has already gotten off to an inauspicious start: an ethics complaint was filed against Espinoza on Monday in response to Espinoza’s publicly funded legislative website being used to campaign for that very office.
We here at ProgressNow NM (and our affiliates around the country) have been on the forefront of the battle with the American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), the conservative corporate lobbying group. We’ve outed previously-unknown ALEC members within the state legislature, revealed ALEC policies conservative New Mexico politicians were trying to pass off as their own, and shed light on the way this shady group operates within our state. CLICK HERE to catch up on our ALEC Watch programs
There were large-scale corporate and individual defections from ALEC a few years ago after a sustained campaign from a number of progressive groups across the country began telling the truth about ALEC’s harmful agendas (“Stand Your Ground” laws that allowed George Zimmerman in Florida to go free; a sustained focus on privatizing pretty much everything; “Right to Work” laws; etc. etc.). But you may have missed that earlier this week Common Cause — the non-partisan good government group — became the latest potential victim of ALEC’s big money machine.
1. the purchase of goods or shares by one person or party before the opportunity is offered to others. 2. the action of preempting or forestalling, especially of making a preemptive attack.
You may have heard the word “preemption” floating around the world of New Mexico politics lately like an annoying gnat you can’t quite see but won’t seem to leave you alone.
2014 gubernatorial candidate Alan Webber excited progressive passions during last year’s campaign, even though he didn’t receive the Democratic nomination. Alan Webber’s voice was a breath of fresh air on the New Mexico political scene and he represented quite a threat to Governor Martinez’s failed agenda (the onslaught of ads and opposition research deployed by the Martinez machine during the Democratic primary is evidence of that). Martinez knew Webber represented a strong, progressive threat to her policies and thus did everything she could to quell his campaign in the early stages. Even though Mr. Webber lost his primary battle, he’s only become more active in the political scene since last year. Below is a recent email he sent to his supporters informing them about legislative goings-on and offering his own analysis of the problems and solutions New Mexicans are facing.
Four weeks down. Four weeks to go. Look below for a recap of the top stories that came out of Santa Fe this week. Some good, some bad, and some really ugly. But before you get there, make sure to check out the information about the next Moral Monday rally happening on Feb.
A stark display of Republican priorities in New Mexico came to the fore today (to the detriment of all New Mexicans), as evidenced by two key committee votes. Here’s what happened today:
As Steve Terrell of the Santa Fe New Mexican so concisely put it:
In a straight-party vote, a bill that would have required more information from lobbyists and the people who hire them just stalled in the House Regulatory & Public Affairs Committee. That’s right. Republican House members continue to show their true stripes now that they’re in the majority and continue their march against transparency and governmental openness by siding with special interest lobbyists. Rep. Jeff Steinborn’s HB 155 would have done a few supremely common sense things, including:
Requiring lobbyists to disclose the legislative or administrative issue for which the lobbyist is employed
Requiring expenditure statements and lobbying expense reports to include the cumulative total of expenditures incurred by the lobbyist or their employer listed by each recipient, indicating the amount spent and a description of the expenditure by category
Lowering from $500 to $100 the amount of aggregate contributions that triggers mandatory reporting of identification information for other contributors
Requiring registration and expenditure statements and lobbying expense reports to be posted on the Secretary of State’s website in searchable and downloadable formats at least monthly throughout the year and as expeditiously as possible when the legislature is in session;
ALEC Chair (and Chairwoman of House Regulatory of Public Affairs) Rep. Yvette Herrell had this to say about the Republican decision:
Committee Chairwoman Yvette Herrell, R-Alamogordo, said the bill was asking for “too much information.”
New Mexico’s new Republican House majority isn’t wasting any time laying out their extreme agenda. On the first business day, they eliminated committees on voting and elections and created new committees to deal with “regulations,” crime and punishment. Yesterday we learned who will be in charge of the new committees (story at NM Political Report here) and it’s a who’s-who of ALEC leaders and Tea Party crazy. Education Committee
Nothing qualifies a Republican for a leadership position in education policy like proposing to ban Hispanic heritage books in schools. Meet the new House Education Committee Chair, Nora Espinoza (R- Roswell, ALEC) . We helped generate national press for Espinoza last year after she proposed banning books during a House Education Committee meeting.
Just as last year’s elections were heating up, Gov. Susana Martinez told a group of business leaders she was administratively ending pro-union practices protected by law. “The state collects them (dues) for the unions, and then we cut a check to the unions who then use that money against reform,” Martinez told business leaders attending a commercial real estate development luncheon in Albuquerque on Monday (Mar. 17, 2014)
“That was in the negotiated union contracts years ago. … We’re at an impasse with the current (contract negotiations) because I don’t want to take the checks out of the payroll and do their job so they can attack us,” she said. – Albuquerque Journal.